Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Library Books (update)

 Important Update: With more and more free eBooks in the libraries, the library sites using Overdrive (most) may be the best way to access books.     For older and cheaper Kindles this will require the underlined procedure below.  

A huge selection of open library books from a non-profit library consortium can be sent to Kindles and to Nook from PC and Mac.   To plain Kindles, the files will automatically appear.    F or Kindle Fires they will be sent to your Kindle library page (click on "all", then click to send them to your Kindle Fire, wait, and find them under Kindle Docs on the Fire).

Local library eBooks and audiobooks can be newly loaded direct quickly to the Kindle Fire.   How do we get library ebooks to our Kindle Fire?    Two ways.    (1) the old way: Get them first to Fire via PC or Mac.   Or,  (2) the new way: get them direct from the Fire itself, a huge simplification from the old way.  Also works on iPad and iPod Touch.

For most books, the easiest way is to install and use Overdrive, instead of Kindle Books, by tapping here.   Follow instructions.    This works for most library ebooks, so do this first.

Kindle's Proprietary Formatted Books:

Kindle uses its own digital "format" in addition to other formats.   Books formatted for the Kindle Fire reader, AZW, are proprietary, for Kindle Books only.   With a little effort, these can be loaded the new way.

Here is an example of the old procedure for borrowing such AZW books from Lancaster Library.  (Most other libraries and readers also use the same Overdrive procedure,.

the old way: As earlier, on any PC or Mac, including your library's, click on  Lancaster Libraries, or your library's similar eBook or digital book webpage.    In the left column tap or click "View all eBooks to show Kindle books.   Click on "only show titles with copies available" unless you want to HOLD a book already checked out.   Select the Kindle version of the book you want.  Tap to add it to your cart.   Enter your library card number.    Download it.    Done.    The book will go to Amazon and to your Kindle, even an old Kindle.

Click for an older video with a little more detail.

the new way: Now, the same procedure can work directly on the Kindle Fire by going to this website on the Fire browser, tapping  here:   For easy visibility, display the screen horizontally and zoom to full screen with the new button at bottom right of screen (per the 6.22 update).

Update March 2:  the newest and best way: on the Kindle Fire, go to the OverDrive website, and tap on download the OverDrive Media Console (shown in small print).     Then, using the Documents to Go app from the Amazon Store, go to Local Files and scroll to ODMediaConsoleSetup.apk (updated just today), and tap on it to install.    Once installed, go to the newly installed OverDrive Media Console app and tap to start it.  Important: Close the Comments screen and go to the menu at center bottom and tap on it.   Tap on Get Books.  Tap on Add a Library and follow screen prompts.

Sidenote: Just recently Amazon is also offering (click for info->) a new easy way to send Documents to Kindle from PC. and directly, on the Kindle Fire.    This does require a simple setup.    Or click here for a way to do the same and also change print size.

The More Universal Formats:

The majority of books are in the more universal, and not proprietary, EPUB format, but there is also the PDF universal document format for books.   To access EPUBS and PDFs on Kindle Fire, click here for a more detailed alternative procedure (from New Hampshire DBS).  Or, better, just EMail a pdf to your kindle address with the word Convert on the subject line.

(Note that the Nook uses the universal EPUB book format.   The Kindle Fire actually also can pretend to be a Nook by adding the Nook app.   A book on using the Nook, and the Nook "app" which runs on the Fire is Your Library Book in Seconds.  Here is a great link for the Nook   But if I had a Nook, click here and find out how to upgrade it safely to a full tablet!!

Though not at all necessary, I installed Documents to Go and other Kindle-like reader apps (Aldiko, Nook, Mantano, Bluefire, Cool Reader---all worked well).    To open a book I go to Docs to Go, locate the downloaded book, tap on it, and Fire displays compatible readers to select.    I like Mantano's ability to read the book aloud.   Click for Mantano.  

Note that the Splashtop app makes it possible to run your PC from Kindle Fire and read Kindle books remotely from your PC.

An experimental way to check out library books direct to older wiFi Kindles is described here: